CPUC Recognizes Pivotal Role of Local Government in Community Energy Resilience Planning

On June 11, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a Decision in the microgrid proceeding (19-09-009) which recognized the pivotal role of local governments in energy resilience planning, a core principle of The Climate Centers’ Community Energy Resilience program.  The recent Decision directs investor-owned utilities to:

  • Dedicate specific staff to help manage local jurisdiction resilience needs;
  • Create a data portal for local governments to obtain data essential to effectively develop microgrid and resilience projects;
  • Sponsor workshops and meetings to brief local jurisdictions on vulnerable transmission and distribution infrastructure; and
  • Create a step-by-step guide to help fast track local jurisdictions’ ability to interconnect with the grid as part of projects dedicated to improving energy resilience.

The Decision reflects many of The Climate Center’s policy recommendations as reflected in formal comments submitted into the CPUC proceeding by The Climate Center and its coalition partners, as well as public and ex parte meetings with CPUC staff.

The Climate Center will continue working with its coalition partners to advocate for new state policy to strengthen community energy resilience, with a focus on ensuring a just energy transition, prioritizing energy resilience for low-income and disadvantaged communities.

To learn more, register here for The Climate Center’s energy resilience webinar series.

The Climate Center is Seeking Support for New Clean Energy Resilience Bills

Disruptions caused by the current public health crisis may help provide an opportunity to accelerate the Advanced Community Energy transition – toward an energy system which is clean, affordable, resilient, equitable and safe — starting with development of microgrids to support critical facilities.   The Climate Center is seeking organizational sign-ons to support two new bills in the California legislature to help achieve this transformation:

  • SB 1314  (Introduced by Senator Bill Dodd). The Community Energy Resilience Act requires the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments interested in developing clean energy-based community energy resilience plans.  
  • SB 1240 (Introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner). This bill would require the California Energy Commission, in consultation with the California Independent System Operator (which manages the flow of electricity into and across the state), to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electricity distribution system to becoming an open local electricity market.  

For additional summary information about both bills, click here.  To add your organization as a supporter – which will help persuade the Legislature to enact these bills — click here.

Also, the application window for the new Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) incentives levels just opened, following up on a California Public Utilities Commission Decision in January authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets.   Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by planned blackouts (also known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs).  Public facilities are eligible SGIP program participants.   The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc.  Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook